NOVEMBER 3, 2022—OTTAWA—George Hood, Board Chair of the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), released the following statement on the federal Fall Economic Statement:
“As a leader in industry-driven skills training, NACC welcomes the federal government’s significant investments in skills development and job training in today’s Fall Economic Statement. We look forward to discussing how our nimble approach to skills training can support the Sustainable Jobs Training Centre.
“Regulated career colleges’ direct training-to-employment pipeline provides learners—a majority of whom are mature students, women, and recent immigrants—and their families opportunities for career advancement and prosperity, while responding to our country’s diverse labour force and economic needs.
“However, we know that massive workforce shortages—from frontline healthcare workers to technical roles in computer science and information technology to construction trades, retail management, general labour, and office workers—are hurting small business owners’ and entrepreneurs’ bottom lines, as well as everyday Canadians standard of living.
“To address these shortages, we must understand that the Canadian workforce is evolving and that our training modalities must evolve with it. We must embrace a more flexible, industry-driven approach that acknowledges the importance of retraining and upskilling: to support Canadian workers in their desire to explore new roles, take on new challenges and play a bigger role in our economic prosperity.
“Second, we need to address the serious shortage of workers across major sectors and across our country by rapidly and responsibly backfilling these positions with capable international workers. Combining an upskilled Canadian workforce and a supplemental international labour resource can and must play a significant role in jump-starting our economy and fortifying us against an impending recession.
“With better access to the federal post-graduate work permit (PGWP) program in partnership with all levels of government and appropriate standards in place, all institutions, including regulated career colleges can better attract, train, and retain international talent to fill the labour shortages we face now, while supporting comprehensive, sustainable workforce development long-term.
“This kind of all-hands-on-deck approach between federal and provincial governments, industry, and workforce developers is imperative to securing Canada’s competitive advantage as a destination for global talent and solving our labour crisis.”
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